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Djokovic to retain men's singles crown? Get US Open betting tips

Hannah Wilks 23 Aug 2019
  • Defending champion Djokovic could have to go through Wawrinka, Medvedev, Federer to reach US Open final
  • Nadal and Thiem look dangerous in the bottom half of the draw
  • US Open live streaming available – watch and bet on tennis live from New York at bet365 
Novak Djokovic poses with the trophy after winning the 2018 US Open (credit:Dubreuil Corinne/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images)

US Open men’s outright winner tips and predictions – can Rafael Nadal or Daniil Medvedev stop Novak Djokovic from defending his US Open title?

READ MORE: Get our free US Open women's outright betting tips.

French Open predictions, favourites and stats

Now that the official men’s singles draw has been released for the 2019 US Open, let’s take a look at the draw quarter by quarter.

Top quarter

Projected quarterfinal: Novak Djokovic (1) vs Daniil Medvedev (5)
Also in this quarter: 2016 US Open champion Stan Wawrinka
Djokovic has never successfully defended a US Open title, but he has made the semifinals or better at every US Open he’s played since 2007 as well as having won four of the last five majors, so it’s safe to say it’s going to take a phenomenal effort to stop him and he is the rightful favourite at 5/4 @ Ladbrokes.
The draw hasn’t necessarily helped Djokovic much, however, because he could face one of the men who has beaten him at the US Open – 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka – in the round of 16, and the last man to defeat him full stop, Daniil Medvedev, in the quarterfinals. Big-serving Sam Querrey, who has beaten him at a major in the past, is also a potential second-round opponent.
It’s difficult to see Querrey prevailing without the speed of grass to help his booming serve. Wawrinka is totally capable of ousting Djokovic, even over the best of five sets, when the Swiss is playing his best, and he’s got a great record at the US Open. But Wawrinka (80/1 @ Paddy Power) has only one quarterfinal run at a major to show for himself in the wake of 2017’s multiple knee surgeries, and even getting to a fourth-round clash with Djokovic could be chancy with big-serving Pole Hubert Hurkacz a potential second-round opponent.
Medvedev (16/1 @ Paddy Power) is the man of the moment after winning his maiden Masters 1000 Series title in Cincinnati, beating Djokovic on the way. The Russian has been exceptionally effective on hard courts this summer, but potential fatigue is a real factor and his grinding style won’t help. Good as Medvedev is, and I do expect him to get to the quarterfinals, he beat Djokovic in Cincinnati by going for broke on second serves for a set and a half and getting away with it. That tactic won’t work over the best of five sets; nor will his other option, of trying to wear Djokovic down from the baseline.
Predicted semifinalist: Novak Djokovic

Second quarter

Projected quarterfinal: Roger Federer (3) vs Kei Nishikori (7)
Also in this quarter: David Goffin, Milos Raonic
Federer once ruled the US Open completely, winning the title five years in a row between 2004 and 2008. But he has only made the final twice in the subsequent decade and suffered a sweat-drenched fourth-round defeat to John Millman in the fourth round last year. The great Swiss (8/1 @ Boyle Sports) has only played one tournament since Wimbledon and delivered an error-strewn performance as he was blasted off the court by Andrey Rublev in Cincinnati – a reminder of his increasing tendency to lose the plot unexpectedly.
The best-of-five format helps Federer, though, because it’s more time to find his game and pull things back from the brink. And the draw for the US Open has helped him too. There are no real threats to him in the early round, with the slumping, unreliable Lucas Pouille his predicted third-round opponent; David Goffin (100/1 @ Unibet) is in good form after a run to the Cincinnati Masters final, but Federer is 8-1 vs the Belgian.
It doesn’t get much tougher in the quarterfinals. Seventh seed Kei Nishikori (80/1 @ Paddy Power) plays well at the US Open, reaching his only major final here in 2014 and making the semifinals on his last two appearances, but he comes in on a three-match losing streak and there are enough pitfalls in his path to strongly suggest that if he comes through to face Federer in the quarterfinals, he’ll be worn out, injury-prone as he is. Croatia’s Borna Coric, who beat Federer twice last year, is on poor form and just 22-15 for 2019. Milos Raonic (66/1 @ Paddy Power) is probably the most significant danger, but that’s not saying much as the Canadian struggles to stay fit for any length of time these days and also has a tough first round against talented Chilean Nicolas Jarry. Nishikori probably has a better chance of beating Federer here than at any other Grand Slam, and I’ll go out on a limb and predict him to do it, but there is no way he’d be able to beat Djokovic in the next round.
Predicted semifinalist: Kei Nishikori

Third quarter

Projected quarterfinal: Stefanos Tsitsipas (6) vs Dominic Thiem (4) 
Also in this quarter: Andrey Rublev, Nick Kyrgios, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, Gael Monfils, Roberto Bautista Agut
The fun and unpredictable quarter of the draw is headed by two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem (33/1 @ Betfair), who made his first US Open quarterfinal last year, played Rafael Nadal hard there, and won his first Masters 1000 Series title on hard courts at Indian Wells in March – all reasons to expect a lot. 
Thiem doesn’t come in with any form though, having made the poor decision to play post-Wimbledon clay and sidelined by illness in August as a result. The draw should let him find his feet if he can get past Thomas Fabbiano in the first round, with Kyle Edmund his not-very-intimidating projected third-round opponent, but in the last 16 he could come up against either 2016 US Open semifinalist Gael Monfils or the winner of the all-Canadian first-round clash between Denis Shapovalov (150/1 @ Unibet) and Felix Auger-Aliassime (100/1 @ Unibet). The former hasn’t really kicked on in 2019; the latter is certainly a huge talent but has yet to beat a top-10 player not named Stefanos Tsitsipas and is deeply streaky still.
Speaking of Tsitsipas (40/1 @ Paddy Power), the Greek has definitely drawn the short straw at this US Open. The Australian Open semifinalist hasn’t really shone on hard courts this month, and he opens against Andrey Rublev who beat Federer in Cincinnati; the Russian has to make a quick transition from Winston-Salem, where weather has led to a congested schedule, which undermines his chances of upsetting Tsitsipas. But Nick Kyrgios (80/1 @ bet365) should await in the third round. Kyrgios beat Tsitsipas in Washington, and he’ll do it again if they meet. The injury-prone, erratic Australian doesn’t have the physical and mental stamina to challenge for this title but he can absolutely make the second week, knocking Tsitsipas out along the way. Look to tenth seed Roberto Bautista Agut (80/1 @ Boyle Sports) to quietly make the quarterfinals, and then quietly go down to Thiem.
Predicted semifinalist: Dominic Thiem

Fourth quarter

Projected quarterfinal: Alexander Zverev (6) vs Rafael Nadal (2)
Also in this quarter: Karen Khachanov, Marin Cilic, John Isner
It’s easy to forget that the US Open is actually Rafael Nadal’s best Grand Slam outside the French Open, but he’s a three-time champion here and comes in on very good form after having won the Rogers Cup in Montreal. 
The Spaniard, second favourite at 7/2 @ Unibet, is in the position once again where the biggest threat to his US Open chances, other than Novak Djokovic, might be his own body, which breaks down on hard courts regularly enough (witness last year’s retirement to Juan Martin del Potro) to give anyone pause when picking him to win the title.
There are also a few potential challenges in his way. He opens against Millman, who won’t repeat last year’s shock victory over Roger Federer, and looks likely to face Fernando Verdasco, who has given him trouble before, in the third round. John Isner (150/1 @ Betfair) and 2014 champion Marin Cilic (80/1 @ Paddy Power) have both been too troubled by injury this season to be a serious threat but Karen Khachanov (66/1 @ Paddy Power) is a more probable quarterfinal opponent than the slumping Alexander Zverev (40/1 @ Paddy Power), and Khachanov played Nadal very tough here last year. I don’t think any of these players will stop Nadal from reaching the semifinals, by any means, but I think they have it in them to exhaust him and break him down physically ahead of much tougher challenges in the form of, potentially, Thiem and Djokovic.
Predicted semifinalist: Rafael Nadal

US Open outright men’s singles betting tips

Could we see a fourth US Open final contested between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal? It looks quite plausible and if there’s a doubt, it’s on Nadal’s side and mainly concerns his fitness.
Djokovic has performed too reliably at majors over the past two years to be in serious doubt. The one potential threat to him before the semifinals is Medvedev (and maybe Wawrinka), but for the reasons I have explained above, it seems very unlikely that Medvedev could replicate his Cincinnati defeat of Djokovic over the best of five sets. Federer may have had match points against Djokovic at Wimbledon, but he has been nowhere near as effective at the US Open in recent years, and I question his ability to get out of his quarter – and if Kei Nishikori does instead, the effort will have cost him his chance of beating Djokovic.
If the likes of Verdasco, Cilic and Khachanov step up to wear Nadal out, I could envisage Thiem slipping through to the final, but he has never beaten Djokovic off a clay court. Nadal might lead their US Open head-to-head 2-1, but it’s been six years sine he beat Djokovic on a hard court. The defending champion is the favourite for good reason.

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Djokovic to retain men's singles crown? Get US Open betting tips

US Open 2019 men’s singles preview, predictions and betting tips here – Djokovic bids to defend his US Open title for the first time, can anyone stop him?

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